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DC Kits 128 - First Impressions



Well, I've actually made a start on something . When Heljan announced their 128, Charlie Petty announced an offer on his 128 kit, pairing it with the then new Replica MLV chassis to give an easy build unit. So I bought one. And it's been sitting in its box, next cab but two off the rank, ever since.


As it's now very close to the top of the to do list http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/296/entry-17246-new-years-resolutions-version-81/ I' ve got out the box and made a start. It seemed a lot more promising than another bout with the 155


And I'm starting to wonder why I've put it off for so long, because this isn't a hugely complex kit. I don't have to worry about getting it to run - the MLV chassis should take care of that , and its DCC ready as a bonus. There are NEM pockets. The basic bodyshell is 6 bits plus a roof. The livery will be plain blue. This is all eminently do-able.


Needless to say I've created a few complications for myself


Prototype inspiration is here , taken at Manchester Piccadilly on 10/4/85 according to the back of the photo. I'm reasonably certain this is 55994




Now as you can see this is one of the 5 gangwayed cars ordered for the WR, with the gangway removed and plated over. All of the ex LMR cars built without gangways and with full cabs had gone by this point: the WR still had two of its batch, which retained their gangways, and the LMR had three, which had lost them


Since Blacklade is somewhere in the Midlands I needed an LMR allocated unit , with plated ends


Charlie sold me a kit with LMR ends on the basis that this would be easier to convert to the plated ends than the fully gangwayed WR ends. But 55994 retained her headcode boxes till the end - and scratchbuilding these onto the moulded ends would be a very awkward job to get right. However photographs show 55993 lost the boxes and had simple marker lights and 55995 seems to have been the same.


Unfortunately I had removed the marker lights on one end preparatory to attempting split headcode boxes before I spotted these other photos. There were two packets of class 50 marker light castings in the box that I had sourced at some stage and these have been superglued in place as replacements on both ends. I'm not sure they're quite right, but they are the best fix I can now attempt. The centre of each cab has been plated over with 10 thou plasticard - I have virtually none left now , and it doesn't seem to be commonly on sale


Here are the bits and the modified cab ends:



Having now checked through what I have I notice that there are no engine castings and no bogie sideframes. Since Charlie Petty has all his kit material packed away in storage there's no hope of sourcing replacement bits from DC Kits, so it's a question of improvisation.


I have an unbuilt Kitmaster kit for a Mk1 SK in my cupboard. I was always intending to replace the bogies with MJT Commonwealths , and I now have - somewhere - some development etched H-frame bogies with which to do the job.

This means I can use the Kitmaster sideframes for the 128.


Goulding's drawings are a bit basic around the bogies but the wheelbase and general style are the same. Some modification will be needed to cut away the tie bars and the representation of brake shoes , and I need to round the axleboxes and maybe add a couple of vertical strips to the frame. It won't be spot on - the bolster is different - but it should provide an approximation. I don't think there's any other source of suitable sideframes


What I do about the engine is a good question . I suspect it will involve Milliput and probably plasticard, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.


There's going to be a certain amount of approximation on this model. If I were working in P4 , no doubt I would be Damaging The Hobby and I might even have Blood On My Hands - especially if I slip with the scalpel while bodging the bogies.


But I'm in OO, and I'm hoping for something that very much looks the part

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